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The most effective strategy to figure out how much home I could afford started by breaking my expenses into 2 parts

The most effective strategy to figure out how much home I could afford started by breaking my expenses into 2 parts
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Last year, my husband and I decided to look into buying a new house. We loved our first home, but it was lacking some of the spaces we needed (like an office for me).




Instead of looking at listings, though, we started by splitting our expenses into two columns: expenses that would likely change if we bought a house, and expenses that would remain the same.




From there, we figured out how much wiggle room we had, set a budget for a new home, and started looking. Our two-part budget strategy would work for almost anyone shopping for a house.




Read more personal finance coverage.



In the spring of 2019, my husband and I began considering whether or not it would be a good idea to buy a new home. We loved the house we were living in, but there were a few specific things on our bucket list that it could never provide (like an office for this work-from-home writer, for example).
Still, before jumping into the process of putting our beloved first-ever house on the market and searching for a new one, we decided to price out some renovations that might make staying in our current home doable for a while longer.
After meeting with a contractor to discuss some plans, though, it became pretty obvious that the answer to achieving most of our home "wants" would be to invest in a bigger place. So our next big question became: how much house can we really afford?
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